2011 18/01
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In the office of human right centre “Viasna” and in the flat and country house of human right activist Ales Bialiatsky searches took place. KGB officers showed a search warrant signed by Minsk prosecutor. Investigation actions were accomplished in the frame of the criminal case about the events of December 19. (further – orthography of the primary source)

The first search in the office of HRC “Viasna” took place at night of December 19-20, right after suppression of opposition peaceful assembly at Niezalezhnasti square in Minsk. All computers and office equipment were taken away.

Neighbors were invites as witnesses. KGB officer refused lawyer Valiantsin Stefanovich and chairman of BHC Aleh Hulak to participate in the search as witnesses.

As reported by the lawyer Valiantsin Stefanovich to BelaPAN, people in plain cloths started their attempts to break into the premises of the centre about 15:30 but it was decided not to open the door. But lately people in militia uniform who had a search warrant came and the door was opened.

Quoting Stefanovich, officers of the Committee of National Security brought authorized search warrant in the frame of a criminal case. He also reminded that it was the third visit of KGB officers to the office. The first time they broke into at night of December 19 and 20 when the criminal case had not been initiated yet, the second time they tried to get in on December 20.

“They confiscated almost all computers, – tells the lawyer. – So we brought several old ones. But if they want to take those old too, we will have to give them away. We will write with pens on paper”.

“We see that this obsessed campaign of searches and pursuits continues, – comments Aleh Hulak, the chairman of Belarusian Helsinki Committee to BelaPAN. – We still observe illegal actions of KGB officers who don’t introduce themselves. Only one of them is recored and the rest work without showing any documents. What do they look for? Again, something about the case of mass rioting”.

According to the words of Hulak public, political activists, journalists and human right activists are being searched all over the country – “nobody can be easy”.

Human right activist advised those who “expected searches” first to try “not to give much information to our secret service”. “They will anyway have to study so much information, – he says. – More than hundred confiscated computers and other data carrier. So you have to clean up your database so they can sort everything you have out. And be ready that this can happen any time – study legislation and recommendations on legal portals once again. Don’t conflict with these people; act properly and correctly, in the frame of legislation”.

Human right activists conducted “Human Right Activists for Free Choice” campaign and also campaigns against death penalty and for exclusion of article 193-1 (performance on behalf of non-registered organization) from the Criminal Code of Belarus.

BelaPAN video

After 10 p.m. Ales Bialiatsky was released and told Radio Racyja:

-I was released as soon as searches were finished: the search of the flat where “Viasna” was located, the search of the flat where my wife and son lived and the search of my country house. It lasted more than six hours. They tried to find something and as a result they confiscated one notebook and a pile of some old papers and some CDs. Perhaps they think that human right activists have more information and video data which can help to manufacture this case.
I wasn’t interrogated, only being searched.

Quoting spring96.org,
Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal,
by.prava-by.info

One thought on “New searches at human rights activists’ offices”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you so much for sharing this information and publishing it.

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